BOARD FOR JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION
Members present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, co-chair; Judge Deborah Fleck, member-chair; Judge Stephen Brown, Judge Leonard Costello, Judge Sara Derr, Judge Stephen Dwyer, Judge Stephen Holman, Justice Barbara Madsen, Dick Manning, Mary McQueen, Judge Robert McSeveney, Judge Kathleen O’Connor, Judge James Riehl, Mr. David Savage, Judge Karen Seinfeld, and Judge Evan Sperline.
Guests present: Andra Motyka
Staff present: Gil Austin, Doug Haake, Jeff Hall, Janet McLane, Jennifer O’Hern, and Yvonne Pettus.
Call to Order
Chief Justice Gerry Alexander called the meeting to order.
Judge Fleck suggested striking the last sentence of the third paragraph on page two of the December 19, 2003 meeting minutes.
The minutes were approved as corrected.
Mr. Hall stated that the supplemental budget had a hearing on January 15 and the Civil Equal Justice bill was filed.
Local Option Filing Fee. Mr. Hall reported that an issue arose regarding the King County local option filing fee bill. He found that it is now not part of King County’s legislative agenda. If the civil equal justice filing fee bill does not move forward, then King County may move forward with the proposal. Chief Justice Alexander noted that he contacted Presiding Judge Eadie at King County Superior Court to ask about this issue and he was going to attend the meeting today, but now that the King County Council has withdrawn this bill (won’t file this session), he did not attend.
Judge O’Connor reported that, in light of the Court Funding Task Force’s efforts, the SCJA discussed this issue and took a position that no other filing fee increases will be approved, unless it has gone through the BJA first. She sent an e-mail to all Superior Court Presiding Judges regarding opposing the concept of local option filing fee bills until the Court Funding Task Force has completed its work.
It was moved by Judge Riehl and seconded by Judge O’Connor to oppose any local option fee increase until the BJA has had the opportunity to review the recommendations from the Court Funding Task Force. Motion carried.
Judge Fleck commented that she was pleased regarding comments from Scott Smith, ATJ, regarding Council Members Kathy Lambert and Dow Constantine’s verbal support of the BJA and the Court Funding Task Force.
Long Range Planning Model
Mr. Hall gave details regarding his work on this model. The draft handout, for information only, shows that the task of writing a different long range plan for the BJA and preparing one for the whole Judicial Branch are two very different objectives. Two levels are shown: 1.) High level = mission, goals, etc. 2.) Next level = two year project plan. Mr. Hall pointed out that the vision and mission had already been adopted by the board, so he started with these. The issues, goals and strategies were developed from BJA rules. Over the next eight weeks, the Long Range Planning Committee will work to develop the BJA long range plan and will bring it to the BJA for approval within three to four months. Judge Fleck added that the Committee can meet via phone conference to work on this. He continued that we need to have all commissions and committees incorporated in the Judicial Branch long range plan.
Ms. McQueen added that it will be necessary to have a routine process to update the LRP on a routine basis. Mr. Hall explained that this will be a changing document, as it will be an ongoing process of revising as projects are completed and new projects are begun.
Judge Riehl stated that it is good to have guidelines regarding long range plans. Chief Justice Alexander asked if this would be an internal process or by court rule. Jeff responded that it would be internal to BJA. He added that he took this two-tier structure idea from Florida.
Mr. Dick Manning reported that the State Bar went through this process in 1997. They started brainstorming, groups were picked and goals were chosen. It ended with 11 or 12 goals. The strategies and actions to be taken were the hardest parts of the process. Two retreats were held, at which the goals were reevaluated, since goals change. The Board of Governors has an ongoing committee that meets four to five times per year.
Court of Appeals
Judge Seinfeld reported that the appellate courts are carefully tracking the supplemental budget. Judge Brown reported that his court is very busy, but has settled down from the budget cuts. He and the Chief Justice attended a swearing in ceremony for Margaret Sowards, Kittitas County’s new position. Judge Brown had attending the swearing in of Cary Runge, Benton/Franklin Counties Superior Court.
Judge O’Connor reported that the SCJA met Saturday. Discussion revolved around the King County fee bill and a rule proposal on unpublished appellate court opinions, which was deferred to the Court of Appeals. She added that Island County brought to their attention the need to research two LFO statutes which conflict with each other regarding who gets the first $100 collected on LFOs (the Clerks for the collection work, or for restitution). Also a spirited discussion was held regarding HB 1333 (changing the membership of the commission on judicial conduct) and they voted to support it. The jury district proposal initiated by King County Superior Court is on the SCJA Legislative agenda for today.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
Judge Dwyer reported that the DMCJA discussed a proposed rule change on unpublished appellate court opinions, and they opposed it because then everything becomes a published opinion. He said that there would be no incentive for a private company to shephardize these cases because they weren’t getting paid to publish the cases. He added that they discussed a proposed Department of Agriculture bail schedule and referred it to the Rural Courts Committee.
Judge Sperline asked why the Supreme Court had stopped (about one year ago) reporting the trial judge on the online version of the opinions. Ms. McQueen said she would look into it.
Judge Derr reported that Judge Tripp met with Senator McCaslin regarding the Civil Equal justice filing fee bill and received good feedback.
Mr. Dick Manning announced the re-enactment of the Brown v. Board of Education that the Supreme Court will be participating in at the UW Law School on May 17th. This is in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the case. Information regarding this will be on the WSBA website.
Legislation. The BOG voted to rewrite RCW 24.06 (non-profit code), oppose the removal of licensed drivers from the jury pool, to support the bill to divide King County juries geographically, and took no action on the tort reform bill.
Court Rules. The BOG endorsed the Supreme Court request to change CR 4.11 (witness/victim testimony). In regards to unpublished opinions, they are following the recommendation of the WSBA Rules Committee to oppose citation to unpublished opinions. The WSBA website has a detailed analysis of the Rules Committee position. They also opposed conformity to federal court discovery rules.
Military Personnel. The BOG voted to waive WSBA dues for active duty personnel. The MCLE is looking at a waiver of requirements for CLE waivers for active duty personnel also.
The next meeting will be on February 20 at Two Union Square, Seattle.
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